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2020 Speakers


Dr. Ingrid Mattson


Dr. Ingrid Mattson is the London and Windsor Community Chair in Islamic Studies at Huron University College at Western University in Canada. Dr. Mattson was educated in Canada and the United States, earning a PhD from the University of Chicago in 1999. From 1998 to 2012 she was Professor of Islamic Studies at Hartford Seminary in CT where she developed and directed the first accredited graduate program for Muslim chaplains in America, and served as Director of the Macdonald Center for the Study of Islam and Christian-Muslim Relations. From 2001-2010 Dr. Mattson served as vice-president, then as president of the Islamic Society of North America (USA), the first woman to serve in either position. Her writings, both academic and public, focus primarily Qur’an interpretation, Islamic theological ethics and interfaith relations. Her book, The Story of the Qur’an, is an academic best-seller and was chosen by the US National Endowment for the Humanities for inclusion in its “Bridging Cultures” program.

Shaykh Saad Tasleem


Shaykh Saad Tasleem is an AlMaghrib instructor and loves to snowboard and skateboard, he rocks his Converse sneakers like a boss! There’s probably nobody better than him to understand the plight of Muslim youth in the face of today’s pop culture pressures.

Shaykh Saad studied Art History, Modern Art, Graphic Design, and Psychology at the University of Maryland. He started his Islamic education at IIASA in Fairfax, VA. He then went on to study in the Islamic University of Madinah where he dedicated himself to the study of Islamic Sciences. He graduated with a Bachelor’s from the Faculty of Shariah, University of Madinah.


Razia Hamidi


Razia Hamidi is passionate about inspiring grassroots change in our community. As a community activist, leader, and student of knowledge, Razia gives motivational talks across Canada. Razia has delivered various workshops, lectures, and keynote speeches at conferences and universities. She has made numerous television and radio appearances, like CBC and CTV, on topics such as human rights and Islamophobia. She is also a professional relationship coach and counselor who guides Muslim couples to build their marriage on love, harmony, and Islamic spirituality.

Shaykh Faraz Rabbani


Shaykh Faraz Rabbani spent ten years studying with some of the leading scholars of recent times, first in Damascus, and then in Amman, Jordan. His teachers include the foremost theologian of recent times in Damascus, the late Shaykh Adib al-Kallas (may Allah have mercy on him), as well as his student Shaykh Hassan al-Hindi, one of the leading Hanafi fuqaha of the present age. He returned to Canada in 2007, where he founded SeekersGuidance in order to meet the urgent need to spread Islamic knowledge–both online and on the ground–in a reliable, relevant, inspiring, and accessible manner. He is the author of: Absolute Essentials of Islam: Faith, Prayer, and the Path of Salvation According to the Hanafi School (White Thread Press, 2004.) Since 2011, Shaykh Faraz has been named one of the 500 most influential Muslims by the Royal Islamic Strategic Studies Center.

Siedd (Nasheed Artist)


With over 20 million streams across his various platforms, the 25-year-old independent singer, songwriter, and producer Siedd features faith driven lyrics and acapella arrangements created using layered vocalizations and hand claps. Self-taught from the age of 14, the award-winning artist began producing in his bedroom and gradually made his entry into the realm of songwriting.

Boonaa Mohammed

Dubbed the “voice of a generation,” Boonaa Mohammed is a critically acclaimed award winning writer and performer with accolades including a playwright residency at Theatre Passe Muraille, a short story published in a Penguin Canada anthology called “Piece by Piece” and various slam poetry titles credits including winner of the 2007 CBC Poetry Face-Off “Best New Artist” award. His popular Youtube videos have received Millions of views to date, and as an Artist he has toured and traveled across the world, speaking alongside some of the most influential scholars and entertainers of our time. He frequently conducts writing workshops and seminars, sharing his experience and expertise in Spoken Word story-telling with mainly youth from all walks of life. He will be screening his latest movie "The Righteous Sinner" followed by a panel discussion at this year's I.LEAD Conference.

Dr. Muhammad Sulaiman


Dr. Muhammad Sulaiman is the spiritual leader for the Ottawa Muslim Association, The Ottawa Mosque, the first mosque in the capital region and one of the first in Canada. Dr. Sulaiman holds his Masters and PhD degrees from Indiana University of Pennsylvania and his BsC from Alazhar University.

Yasin Dwyer


Imam Yasin Dwyer was born to parents of Jamaican heritage in Winnipeg. He is the executive director of Muslim Chaplaincy of Toronto. Before joining Muslim Chaplaincy of Toronto, he was a part of the multi-faith chaplaincy team at Queen’s University in Kingston, Ontario. Imam Yasin has lectured extensively on topics such as religion and the arts, Black Canadian culture and the history of Muslims in the West. Along with working alongside many non-profit organizations in Canada, Imam Yasin was the first full-time Muslim chaplain to work with the Correctional Service of Canada, a position he held for 12 years. He is also a board member of the Montreal-based Silk Road Institute.

Mustafa Farooq


Mustafa Farooq is the Chief Executive Officer of the National Council of Canadian Muslims (NCCM). A lawyer by profession, Mustafa completed his Juris Doctor at the University of Alberta and Osgoode Hall (York University) and later earned his Master of Laws (LLM) at UC Berkeley in California. He previously served as a senior political staffer to a provincial cabinet minister in which role he worked on various legislative and policy initiatives.

Mustafa was also a visiting scholar at Osgoode Hall Law School researching countering violent extremism policy in Canada. His book entitled Law, Politics, and Countering Violent Extremism (Routledge) is forthcoming.

He is a published writer and commentator in various news media and publications on issues related to Canadian Muslims, human rights & civil liberties, and public policy issues including Islamophobia and national security.


Barâa Arar


Barâa Arar is a Toronto-based community organizer and writer. She holds a Bachelor of Humanities from Carleton University and is currently an MA candidate at the University of Toronto, focusing her research on photography and colonialism. Her writing has appeared in This Magazine, CBC, and the Globe and Mail. Barâa is the recipient of the Carleton Provost Scholar Award for community engagement and immersive research.